As the year gets started, Backbase CEO Jouk Pleiter and Gobal Head of Marketing, Jelmer de Jong, look back at the trends that have endured through 2013 and look set to dominate digital banking for the coming year.
While there were quite a few hot topics to choose from, the two chose to focus on what they see as the key trends that they believe are true game changers, which will redefine how digital banking is seen today and for years to come. Here’s a brief recap of each topic:
Omni-channel is the final destination in the natural progression from the traditional branch only banking model, through multi- and cross-channels to arrive at a point where the brand is holistically experienced by the customer regardless of device or context. Most banks today operate at a multi-channel level, with a few delivering cross-channel experiences. Omni-channel experiences are few and far between. A true omni-channel experience requires a level of technological orchestration that is beyond most banks’ capabilities. To start heading in the right direction, banks should focus on ‘service design’ principles, with the customer at the center of their product and experience strategies.
New web-based technologies, such as widgets offer dynamic solutions as they are smaller and more flexible than the traditional monolithic GUIs, which have little to no moveable parts. Widgets can be consumed across multiple channels, making them ideal in a mobile first world. They are reusable and customizable, enabling WORA capabilities for websites, and apps – both native and hybrid. Jouk and Jelmer then gave some real world examples of widgets in action on banking websites.
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As digital has become the space in which brand wars are won and lost, it has become clear that business teams and IT teams need to be more closely aligned. Creating a business model and deploying a new IT architecture to ensure collaboration will be key according to Jouk. The ideal structure will be one where the existing legacy systems are loosely coupled with a presentation layer, allowing IT to focus on maintaining the stability of back office operations, while empowering business and marketing teams to innovate with customer oriented functions.
Both Jouk and Jelmer agree that the banks that can leverage their customer data with the emerging technologies will reap massive rewards. Today’s customers want personalization; they want to know that the banks know who they are and to give them information they can use to improve their lives. Jelmer thinks that banks need to look closely at what retail is doing in this area to see what can be adapted to the banking industry, and gives some real world examples. Lastly the two discuss the ramifications of Apple’s latest innovation, iBeacon, looks set to bring targeting to a whole new level.
2014 will be the year banks are forced to start experimenting according to Jouk. Other industries have been seeing the benefits of using experimentation to continuously optimize their digital experiences for decades. If banks want to succeed and grow in the digital economy they have no choice but to follow suit or lose out to more agile players like Simple and Moven, who will attract the digital natives.